Bread and salt

Salt and yeast don’t go together, they say. Bread tastes better with salt, as do most things, but it inhibits the yeast. Paul Hollywood advocates putting the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other, so that they don’t mix until you add the water. However, I was looking up advice on sourdough the other day and landed up on an Australian website, run by someone who’s a sourdough expert and they (can’t remember whether male or female) advocated adding the salt as late as possible, after the mixing has started. So, with my ordinary dry-yeasted loaf, I tried that today.

It’s a multi-grain, multi-seed loaf, which is very tasty but the loaf is sometimes heavy, I have to admit. White, wholemeal and wholemeal rye flour, sesame/flax/poppy/sunflower/pumpkin/millet/whatever else I have seeds, about 100 grams to 500 grams of flour, usually five different seeds. Today, I started mixing the flour, black treacle and water and only added the teaspoon of salt with the last water. Two minutes difference at most, yet it rose better and quicker than any loaf I’ve baked.

If anyone has any experience they’d like to share, I’d be very interested. I’ll try again, and with the sourdough too, but I don’t know if this was chance or cause-and-effect.

Simple scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on freshly-baked, toasted bread, with an extra slice of smoked salmon, finished with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, ground sumach and lemon juice on the side, for dinner tonight. It was delicious and just the light meal we wanted.

2 comments on “Bread and salt

  1. Blue Witch

    Paul Hollywood’s idea is daft – how long before the two combine? About 5 seconds… I usually mix the salt in with the honey (your balck treacle) and the two somehow seem to work together to solve the problem.

    1. Z Post author

      Well, a bit longer than that, a minute or two. I normally put in the flour, then the yeast, then the treacle, then measure out the water and add that. But I didn’t see that it would make any difference – however, the much lighter bread when I did put the salt in later has made me wonder, which was why I asked. I’m not going to bother to do side by side tests admittedly.


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